TechEd 2008

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TechEd Developer kicks off next week in Orlando, the first time the US group has tried the European model of separate dev and IT pro weeks.  I've grown to like the model in Europe a little better, because I think both attendees and speakers benefit from the greater focus within their specialized areas.  The people who it hurts are obviously those who fall squarely into both camps, but at the US events, I have not run into many of those.

The conference agenda is getting busy for folks who like to stay on top of Microsoft technologies (or who like to speak at these events), with MIX in the spring, PDC in the fall, and TechEd in the summer, and that's just the US centric Microsoft "general" conferences.  I'm intentionally excluding the Office Developer Conference, international conferences, and those that are not directly put on by Microsoft, such as VS Live.

Why am I going next week?  In short, it's to give a session talking about advanced WF+WCF integration, but more importantly to escape the Redmond bubble and find out what's actually happening to real customers in the real world.  Those interactions become more and more valuable as we work to build tools to help those customers build applications.  A few of the sessions I'd be interested in as an attendee:

 

SOA209 The Road to “Oslo”: The Microsoft Services and Modeling Platform

Thursday, June 5 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM, S220 A 

Speaker(s): David Chappell

Microsoft’s “Oslo” project aims at creating a unified platform for model-based, service-oriented applications. This new approach will affect the next versions of several products and technologies, including the Microsoft .NET Framework, Microsoft Visual Studio, Microsoft BizTalk Server, Microsoft System Center, and more. Although many details of “Oslo” won’t be public until later in 2008, this session provides an overview of what Microsoft has revealed so far. Along with a description of the problems it addresses, the session includes a look at several new “Oslo” technologies, including a general-purpose modeling language, role-specific modeling tools, a shared model repository, and a distributed service bus.

Why? This is the first time we'll be saying more about what's going on in Oslo.  David's a fantastic speaker and the approach he will take with this presentation will take a lot of what we've said so far and tie it together.

 

SOA302 Framework and Microsoft BizTalk Best Practices with an Eye Toward "Oslo"

Wednesday, June 4 4:30 PM - 5:45 PM, S210 B 

Speaker(s): Jon Flanders

Microsoft has announced "Oslo", the code-name for a wave of technology affecting the Microsoft .NET Framework, Microsoft BizTalk Server, and the idea of building service-oriented systems using Microsoft technologies. In this session we discuss what we know so far about these technologies, and how to think about what you are currently doing with Windows Communication Framework/Windows Workflow Foundation and BizTalk Server to best prepare for the future.

Why? David's talk is more about the ideas, Jon's talk is more about the tech.  If you code WF, WCF, or BizTalk solutions today, this will be a great talk to understand how to make your apps ready to take advantage of the new features coming in Oslo

SOA305 Getting Workflows Running and Talking in Your Applications

Friday, June 6 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM, S320 E 

Speaker(s): Brian Noyes

Once you understand the basics of Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) and can put together a workflow using the built-in activities, you will need to know how to get that workflow running in a variety of hosting environments and communicate between the workflow and the host application or the outside world. This session gives you a solid foundation to get started with these techniques. Gain a better understanding of how workflows exist in a hosting process and how to control the hosting services. Learn about the various forms of communication that can exist between a running workflow and the hosting application as well as with outside Web and WCF Services. Also, learn about the persistence and tracking features of WF.

Why? Brian's talk will focus on how to get workflows communicating, something that's neccessary in any WF app.  I'll follow on this talk with an advanced look at WC+WCF integration in .NET 3.5

SOA403 Building Federated Solutions on the Internet Service Bus

Thursday, June 5 10:15 AM - 11:30 AM, S220 C (DEV) 

Speaker(s): Clemens Vasters

Using the code-name "BizTalk Services," Microsoft is building a set of "cloud" technologies that are developed and operated by Microsoft as a logical extension to the .NET Framework and the Microsoft SOA technologies. They aim to enable corporate software developers and ISVs building solutions that require broad, cross-organizational identity management, the ability to safely and securely traverse NATs and Firewalls to enable bi-directional communication, Internet-scale publish/subscribe services, broad interoperability, and services orchestration. In short, these technologies are expanding the reach of the ESB pattern to the Internet—that’s why we call it "Internet Service Bus." In this session, Clemens takes you along on a "lots of code" tour through an exemplary solution built using these technologies.

Why? Get on the bus, baby!  This team is doing some very cool stuff in the cloud, and the infrastructure that is being provided is something that enables you to focus on the cool stuff your app does, not the bizarre intricacies of network traversal or identity management implementation details.

TLA304 The Nine Essential Power Tools for Every Developer: Extending Microsoft Visual Studio to Enhance the Microsoft Office Development Experience

Wednesday, June 4 8:30 AM - 9:45 AM, S320 E 

Speaker(s): John Durant

Check out the first release of Visual Studio Power Tools, a set of free tools that enhance the design-time or runtime capabilities of Office development in Visual Studio 2008 Professional.This session includes demos of all the tools, such as the Office Interop API Extensions library which brings optional and named parameters to Microsoft Visual C#, the Ribbon IDs Tool Window, and the SharePoint Workflow Package Generator. Come check them out and find out how you can start using them today

Why?  John is a great speaker, he once appeared at a talk I set up wearing Heelys and wheeled around the audience blasting through technical details.  At 8:30 am, this talk is a great way to start your Wednesday.

TLA317 Busy .NET Developer's Guide to Microsoft F#

Speaker(s): Luke Hoban, Ted Neward

F#, Microsoft's new functional language for the Microsoft .NET platform, makes it easy—as in, half the total lines of code easy—to create business objects for .NET applications that can be used from any other .NET language, like Microsoft Visual C#, Visual Basic, or Visual C++/CLI. In this presentation, we look at how to do this in F#, the advantages of doing so, and how doing this simplifies your life as a .NET developer.

Why? Luke gave this talk in Israel where it was well received.  The addition of functional programming into the VS family of languages is a huge win for developers.  This talk will help you think about programs from a functional perspective, and show you how to do it.